The Power and Majesty of the Horse in Scripture
Some of you know that we lived on a farm just outside of Huntington WV, for several years, then we moved to a very small farm in SE Ohio, where I call home. At both places we had, of course some dogs and off and on cats, and then cows, pigs, rabbits and we had horses. My first equine was a pony. Dad got him for me when I was seven. He was a little guy named Brownie. I didn’t name him, but whoever did, didn’t think about his name to hard because he was named the color he was. When dad thought I had outgrown Brownie, he got me a horse – who again had been named after the color of her coat – Ginger. As we continue this month with the “barnyard series.” I’ve been thinking about horses and how they have been used to teach us about God’s glory and power. You won’t be surprised to know that there are some fun facts about horses. Let me share some.
- Horses can’t breathe through their mouth.
- Horses can sleep standing up.
- Horses have 10 different muscles in their ears.
- Horses have a nearly 360-degree field of vision.
- Horses do not have teeth in the middle of their mouth.
- Horses are highly intelligent animals.
- Horses have lightning-fast reflexes.
I am grateful for their lightening fast reflexes, if not for those I would have been seriously hurt one afternoon. The farm in West Virginia. had a long flat bottom that snuggled up next to the side of a hill. It was perfect for racing, horse racing. But it had one catch. It was two fields that had been divided by a fence. There was a gate that was open, so there was no problem going from one section to the other, as long as you were not racing. If you were racing, you had to beat everyone to the gate and go as fast as you could curving around the gate to make it into the next section in order to finish first. At least that was the goal. Now, I know some of you are wondering who was racing, so I will tell you – it was a cousin of ours who was there visiting. He was the oldest one and didn’t know anything about horses, or farms for that matter. The next oldest was me. I was 11 and then two of my sisters who would have been 10 and 9. We had been racing for a little while and had not stopped to cinch the saddles tighter. Ginger and I started through the gate and the saddle slipped all the way around. When I hit the ground, Ginger with her lightening fast reflexes had stopped and I was looking up at her underbelly. Great times!
Some of us consider horses as pleasure or hobbies animals. There are some sports that involve horses. They can also be useful on a farm for their ability to do some solid hard work that makes it easier for human beings. And if you’ve ever seen the Budweiser Clydesdales, you know they are a great advertising gimmick. They are also important in the Scriptures.
According to Bible Gateway. Horses are mentioned 188 times throughout the King James Version. Horses have an important role to play in scriptures. They are a source of transportation; they play a prominent role in war. They are often seen as royal gifts, symbols of wealth, character, and prophesies, yes even prophesies!
Probably the most fascinating to me is that Jesus has a horse! We may not always picture Him with a horse. That certainly wasn’t the picture we see portrayed in the Gospels. In fact – just the opposite. In the Gospels we think of him walking from town to town with his disciples. There is one time that we see him riding. But that’s on a donkey – you know the story. We call it Palm Sunday. When Jesus rode into the city one last time, by the end of the week he was on the cross dealing with our sin.
Riding on a donkey is vastly different than riding on a horse. The donkey symbolized suffering, service, peace, and humility. Jesus was entering Jerusalem as the suffering servant who would bring peace between God and humanity. Fortunately for Him – and us, that part is over. Jesus is no longer the suffering servant. His work of carrying our sin and making peace between us and God is complete, it is finished. He now reigns as King of Kings and He has traded the donkey in for a horse. In the scripture, a horse represents power, war, majesty, and glory. Jesus, now in His glory has a horse, which scripture tells us He will return on to take Satan out one last time.
Here is the passage we find Him on a horse – it’s in Revelation 19:11-14
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.” Revelation 19: 11-14
Isn’t that cool? Our Lord and Savior who rode in on a little donkey to secure our salvation and place in eternity, now has a majestic white horse that proclaims his rider is King of kings and Lord of lords! The next time you see a horse, let it be a reminder of King Jesus who loves you more than you will ever be able to understand this side of heaven!